Archive for the ‘patrick rafter’ Category

short balls: elena waves good-bye

November 2, 2010

Elena Dementieva is waving good-bye to the WTA Tour after a dozen years on the tour, which saw her greatest moment in 2008, at the Beijing Olympics. But while Dementieva might be most well-known to tennis enthusiasts as the greatest chica never to nab a Slam, you can bet she will be a missed force on the tour. No one else played with such maturity and poise, and even the shaky serve was made up for by that blazing forehand. Can you remember an Elena diva moment? Neither can I. I got the chance to watch Elena in person this summer – and if you never had the chance to watch this girl up close, I’ll give you one descriptive word: athlete - and she was a joy to watch. The tennis may have been flawed at times, but the heart was always there. Can’t wait to see what comes next for the Muscovite. Survey study: Of the 158 folks that responded to our Sunday Survey, 38% said they thought Elena would announce she’s pregnant come Thanksgiving. OK, riiight.

Courier calls: A variety of responses sprung up from the naming of Jim Courier as the new US Davis Cup coach last week. Greg Garber was questioning the call already over at ESPN.com, while L. Jon Wertheim was giving the nod to the Courier appointment in his Monday post this week. Our call? Well, we’re not so sure it matters who captains. Wertheim pointed out that four Americans sit inside the top 22 (Roddick, Isner, Fish and Querrey), and while the time may have passed for Roddick and his Davis Cup days, the Bryan Brothers look committed. The bigger question is: what will the Isner, Fish and Querrey era bring? Those are the boys that seem invested as Courier takes the reigns.

Retirement footnotes: While Elena’s announcement shocked a few and left others unsurprised, Serena Tweeted and blogged her well wishes to Dementieva, who had a 5-7 record against ReRe. Of course, retirement of one WTA veteran meant that the media was curious about her counterparts, namely Kim Clijsters. And here’s a curious fact for you: Lindsay Davenport, who shaved off Elena in her first big-bang match in the 2000 US Open semis still is not listed as retired on the WTA web site. Comeback likely? You never know with the mom next door.

Back on the winning (and publicity) track: Winning his first match in five tries, Fernando Verdasco found his winning form (most recently displayed in heroics at this year’s USO) in Valencia Monday. The Slice had some good shots of Fernando charming the masses at a Calvin Klein event last week in Madrid (with his pants on), before heading east to Valencia. He also appeared on the Spanish cooking show, El Hormiguero. Jealous of that cooking-show host? Yes, so are we.

Frame this: Ipek Senoglu is probably the most famous tennis player you (and I) have never heard of. Senoglu is Turkish and reached a career-high ranking of no. 293 back in 2004. While her career has mostly run its course, Senoglu has been instrumental in building tennis’s popularity in Turkey, which will host the WTA’s year-end event in both 2011 and 2012 in Istanbul. Oh, and she’s a looker, that Ipek, too. Above: Ipek in what we think is the Turkish/ Eastern European version of Bazaar. Can anyone help us out on translating?

After the cut: a barely-clad retired pro male struts his stuff in undies and injures a production assistant in the process? Plus, your weekly dose of short(er) balls. (more…)

off court, rafter rocks the long sleeve

December 4, 2009


How good is Patrick Rafter looking?! Rafter, in London for a ATP Champions Tour event, was rocking a relaxed and well-worn Hawaii long sleeve with Goran Ivanisevic. We always thought Rafter looked good, but who knew age was in his favor?! As for Goran… well, we like his watch.

The relived their epic Wimbledon match in their chat prior to the start of the tournament.

(photo via yahoo! sports)

pat and his ponytail praised; philippoussis ponders life post-tennis

January 29, 2008

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Patrick Rafter got some more icing on his already sweet career cake with an induction to the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame. The ceremony, which included an unveiling of a Rafter bust, happened before the 2008 Australian Open women’s final between Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic. Those are some mad crow’s feet. Remember to wear your eye cream, people!

Though we were bigger fans of Pat with his buzz-short hair (circa 2001), it’s only appropriate that they immortalize him in the ponytail he sported while tearing through the North American hardcourts in the late 90s.

Rafter won back-to-back U.S. Open titles (’97, ’98), reached the finals of Wimbledon twice (’00, ’01), and the semis of Roland Garros (’97) and the Australian (’01). See a list of his 11 career titles here.

Meanwhile, his compatriot Mark Philippoussis suffered what could possibly be his last tennis-related injury in December while attempting to qualify for this home Grand Slam. “I won’t lie – but at the moment I’m just enjoying spending time with my family and friends,” he told The Age last week — which means he hasn’t given ATP Tour play any thought. Flip doesn’t even have a tentative schedule planned out. Le sigh, it all went downhill after being up a set and 2-1 (but on serve) against Sampras in the 1999 Wimbledon semis.

(Photos by Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> rafter puts his family first, so he gets naked
>> TSF’s pat rafter archives

patrick rafter puts family first — so he gets naked

August 21, 2007

Retired Aussie Pat Rafter might have been opposed to showing skin (off-court) during his tennis heyday, but now that his coffers aren’t so flush with cash, he’s not above doing it for his family’s sake: “I don’t play tennis any more and I need to make an income.”

So he pulls a Tommy Robredo and poses in socks — and not much else — for this Bonds ad campaign.

Video: You can view the ad and another one here (scroll to the right — they’re the last two).

Not the first: Rafter’s done work for them prior to the sock campaign. Here’s a print ad selling hoodies (above). And he wears a tank top in this photo that appears on the Bonds Man homepage.

More pics: See more Rafter photos here.

[Daily Telegraph via Kenneth in the (212)]

rafter: hewitt will be a force, but won’t be no. 1

August 12, 2007

Australian Patrick Rafter, looking good at the Sydney premiere of The Bourne Ultimatum with wife Lara Feltham, has told the wires that Lleyton Hewitt‘s goal to reach the no. 1 ranking is far-fetched, but that the new partnership with coach Tony Roche could see him nesting in the Top Five.

Rafter reasons that Hewitt’s flat strokes don’t match well with the current trend of high, heavy balls (spurned by new racquet technology). Rafter’s solution is incorporating more net play.

[photos via Kenneth in the (212)]

russians, russian women, women, doping, tiger woods — everyone’s getting dissed!

August 7, 2007

Is Age of Love really still on? My fault for staying home on a Monday night…

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Much ado about nothing: The Russian Roulette, aka Nikolay Davydenko, got an awful losing streak rubbed in his face after $7 million — ten times the average — was wagered in favor of World No. 87 Martin Vassallo Arguello beating him in a second round match at the Orange Prokom Open (Sopot, Poland). And not only that: the sitch has since turned into a big match-fixing scandal that has everyone from ATP Chairman Etienne de Villiers to Kolya supporter Roger Federer chiming in. Fortunately, the ATP follows due process and will allow the top-fiver to play at this week’s Rogers Cup while an investigation is conducted. Bonus round: Click here to read more on the different kinds of tennis sports betting.

From Russia, without love: La Russophobe calls the Soviet success at La Costa a bunch of hogwash.

Rafter d. Roddick: In the hypothetical head-to-head, the more athletic Rafter wins out. (411mania.com)

Unstrung screens at Kalamazoo: The Disney-owned documentary screens at the boys’ tournament. The film follows Tim Neilly, Marcus Fugate, Holden Seguso, Clancy Shields, Gregory Hirshman, Donald Young, and Sam Querrey from the 2004 Orange Bowl in December through the 2005 U.S. Open. (via ZooTennis)

Ok, we’ll bite: A “He said, She said” at North County Times questions what celebrity riff raff is doing to women’s tennis. Of course “he” backs up the glam; aside from the anomaly that is Anna Kournikova (and yes, we’re talking just about singles titles here), all the other model-quality players have proven their match-tough mettle: the always-fashionable Williams sisters have 14 Grand Slam singles trophies between them. Masha has two, and Serbian Ana Ivanovic has two Tier I titles (Berlin, Montreal) under her belt.

“She” calls the endorsements and red carpet appearances distractions. But these cross-promotions are a necessary evil if we want to keep tennis financially viable. Sorry to break it to you, dear. Money is a waaaaaaay bigger factor in professional tennis than what your ideals are letting you believe.

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(OT) Doping laws aren’t dope: Sports law expert Mark Hardie writes about the inadequacies of today’s anti-doping policies in a recent op-ed published in The Times. Those falling through the cracks include tennis players Mariano Puerta and Guillermo Coria.

(OT) Amex drops Tiger: I Want to Be a Sports Agent scratches its head over this latest marketing move.

short balls: aussie edition

July 25, 2007

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Flip the Fungible: If Mark Philippoussis decides to disappear into tennis oblivion, then I’ll be content replacing him with the similar-looking ATP-er, Spaniard Paul Andujar. (Here he is in Le Coq Sportif while losing to Nole at the Croatian Open.)

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The Scud at an Age of Love viewing party in the Planet Hollywood Casino surrounded by his girls: Jayanna, Adelaide, Lauren, Tessa, Lynn, Angela, Jodi, Mary, and Kelli Brook. (photos via Getty Images)

Flip the TV Star: Mark takes another step into firming up his tennis prospects — FYI, he’s working out of his Vegas base camp with former Agassi trainer Gil Reyes — by considering another reality TV series. (Herald Sun via DT)

Rafter the Wise: Two-time U.S. Open titleist Pat Rafter, who gave some great advice to James Blake early in the American’s career, speaks out in favor of the newly-formed union between Lleyton Hewitt and Tony Roche (who is also Pat’s former coach). I wonder if he has opinions about his former doubles partner Philippoussis?

Courier the Impresario: American Jim Courier has joined Darren Cahill and Roger Rasheed as investors in a new three-day exhibition that leads up to the 2009 Australian Open. The tournament will pair retired ATP players with current ones of the same nationality. McEnroe and Roddick vs. Pat Cash and Hewitt? I like it!

Tourney trivia: the last Adelaide tourney will be played in 2008, after which it will fold with the women’s Gold Coast event. This new exhibition will have the same plexi-cushion courts (Rebound Ace, R.I.P.) as the Aussie Open. The promoters will face competition for players from Kooyong, the Sydney International, and the Auckland tournament.

Dokic (not yet) the Prodigal Daughter: The reunion of Tennis Australia with troubled and hard-headed former prodigy Jelena Dokic hit another snag when she rejected the governing body’s latest offer to help out. (Herald Sun)

RELATED POSTS
>> short balls archive
>> ‘the scud’ looks for love on NBC reality series
>> short balls: molik, philippoussis, IMG, etc.
>> short balls: the aussie edition

the aussie edition

March 9, 2007

Patrick Rafter at the Salem Open in Hong Kong
As you may already know, Mark Philippoussis aka the Scud gave up surfing — along with his digs in Carlsbad — to concentrate on his tennis. (His base is now Las Vegas).

So Patrick Rafter yesterday took the steps to fill the void as the country’s tennis player/surfer. He entered a competition at the Noosa Festival of Surfing. You can see a photo of Rafter hanging ten on the Sunshine Coast Daily website.

He placed third, and attributed his lack of poise to decades of playing tennis:

“I’ve got to stick my arse back in – I sort of stick it out too far when I surf – sort of a balance thing you know. It’s like I’m returning serve,” the Eumundi-raised Davis Cup hero said with his usual candour.

We’ll keep you posted of his future surfing activities.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on this:

athens - mark philippoussis

Yeah experience the height of visual gluttony with this photo taken from the ITF website. That’s what Australia made their athletes wear to the Olympic ceremonies in ATHENS?


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